Hi! I'm back! The first draft of my bento cookbook is in, and I now have a bit more time for other writing. So many people asked when this blog would be back...so here it is. I hope you'll continue to enjoy it.
So, today's word is another zokugo (俗語 ぞくご）or slang word that is popular recently:
You may already know that onna （女 おんな）means woman. Himono (干物 ひもの）means any kind of dried food, but it usually means a dried or semi-dried fish. Himono are often eaten for breakfast, and are a popular breakfast item at traditional inns. Here's a grilled horse mackerel or aji (鯵 あじ）himono.
So, what is a himono onna or dried-fish woman? It means an unmarried woman, usually in her late 29s to 30s or older, who has given up on love and sex, and is content - or resigned to - live on her own. A himono onna generally regards all that lovey-romantic stuff as too much of a bother, or mendokusai （面倒臭い めんどくさい). In fact, mendokusai is her first motivation, or un-motivation, for everything. She's stopped trying to impress the opposite sex, doesn't bother dressing attractively and goes around in the most comfortable clothes possible, including going sans bra or no-bura (ノーブラ). She may also stop paying too much attention to things like personal hygiene, or at least stop bothering with makeup, going more than once or twice a year to the hairdresser, doing her nails, and things like that, except when she goes to work. Anticipating the possibility that she will have no children to take care of her in her old age, she may be saving up a lot of her money, buying her own apartment or house (until recently it was practically unheard of for a single woman to buy her own place) - or she may be spending money on herself at will.
According the the Japanese Wikipedia entry on himono onna, she may also:
- Be very late replying to emails, because it's too much of a bother (mendokusai).
- Eat snacks and simple meals standing up at the kitchen sink
- If she forgets something in her house after she's put her shoes on (remember that in Japan, one always removes ones shoes when entering the house) she may go and get it on her knees, shoes in the air
- Stop plucking, waxing or shaving her body hair during the winter
- Is not afraid of going to a traditional pub or izakaya (居酒屋 izakaya) on her own
- Has stopped having 'heart-quickening moments' (i.e., romantic moments or getting excited about anything)
All this may sound like a misogynistic put-down of unmarried women, but in fact many women have embraced the term themselves. There are blogs out there by himono onna. This one in particular, called The Himono Onna's Household Budget Book or "Himono Onna no Kakeibo" (干物女の家計簿 - see more about kakeibo) - is very funny and cute. The blogger illustrates her posts with the most adorable drawings, where she depicts herself as a fat, clumsy seal or azarashi (あざらし) stumbling through life. In her profile, at the left of the page, she says she's 30, an OL (office lady), and her annual income is 3.64 million yen (US$40,520), and her savings are an impressive 4.57 million yen (US$50,854).
I'm rather dessicated myself...